Financial Aid Policies
View the Terms and Conditions for Financial Aid recipients. Below are additional policies which we encourage you to review.
Students must meet all eligibility criteria to receive federal, state, or institutional financial aid. While eligibility criteria may vary for different programs, the following requirements generally apply for federal financial aid programs. The student must:
- Be enrolled at least half-time at FAU (6 credits undergraduates, 4.5 credits graduates) in an academic program leading to a degree (some exceptions apply for Pell grants).
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- Have a valid Social Security number and registered with that number as a student at FAU (this applies for all Title IV Aid).
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in the selected course of study.
- Not in default on a student loan or owe a repayment on a student grant.
- Not be convicted of illegal drug offenses while receiving Title IV aid.
For some students, additional documents and requirements may include one or more of the following:
Documentation of Selective Service Registration
A data match is performed by the Federal processor to verify that the applicant has registered for Selective Service when registration is required. Applicants whose eligible Selective Service status is not verified through the data match must provide proof of Selective Service Registration to the Financial Aid Office.
Documentation of Immigration Status
A data match is performed by the processor with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to verify that an applicant is an eligible non-citizen. Applicants whose eligible non-citizen status is not verified through the data match must provide copies of immigration documents to the Financial Aid Office for confirmation with INS.
Drug Convictions and Eligibility for Financial Aid
The law suspends federal student aid eligibility for students convicted under federal or state law for possession or sale of illegal drugs while receiving Title IV aid. You may be able to regain eligibility by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program. For more information, please contact FAU’s Office of Student Financial Aid or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.
FAU REFUND POLICY:
The amount of a refund of fees for students who withdraw will be calculated as outlined in the University Catalog under "Refund of Registration Fees".
FAU REPAYMENT POLICY:
Undergraduate Degree Seeking Students Only: The students’ official withdrawal process from the University begins when the student withdraws from all but one class on MYFAU and submits the FAU Complete Course Withdrawal form to the Dean of Students Office. Once the Dean of Students Office has contacted the student, the FAU Complete Course Withdrawal form is then signed and returned by the Dean of Students to the Office of the Registrar, and the Registrar will withdraw the student from the final class.
Undergraduate and Graduate financial aid recipients who officially or unofficially withdraw from the University may be required to repay all or a portion of the grants and loans based on the date of withdrawal or last date of attendance at an academically related activity as documented by University records, depending on whichever date more accurately reflects the student’s ceased attendance.
The amount of federal aid that you must repay is determined by the Federal Formula for Return of Title IV funds (Section 484B of the Higher Education Act). This law also specifies the order in which funds are to be returned to the financial aid programs from which they were offered, starting with loan programs.
If you withdraw from the University, your eligibility for Federal Title IV funds (Pell Grant, SEOG, Perkins Loans, and Direct Loans) will be recalculated based on the date of withdrawal or last date of attendance at an academically related activity as documented by University records, depending on whichever date more accurately reflects the student’s ceased attendance. The amount of Federal Title IV funds you have earned will be determined by multiplying the total Federal Title IV aid you were qualified to receive by the percentage of the days of the term that you are viewed as attending (excluding days classified on your program’s academic calendar as mid-semester break periods of 5 or more days in length).
- If the calculated amount of Federal Title IV aid earned exceeds the amount disbursed, you may receive a post-withdrawal disbursement for the difference.
- If the amount of Federal Title IV aid disbursed exceeds the calculated amount earned, you will be required to repay an amount of the disbursed aid which exceeds the calculated earned amount.
- The earned/unearned calculation is based on the percentage of days attended during the term in which you withdrew. The amount you have earned is determined on a pro-rata basis. For example, if you completed 30% of the term in which you withdrew, you have
earned 30% of the federal Title IV aid you received. Once you have completed 60% of the term, you are considered to have earned all of your aid.
The responsibility for returning unearned Title IV aid is shared between the University and you. FAU will return the disbursed but unearned Federal Title IV aid back to the financial aid accounts in accordance with federal regulations and bill your student account for the amount returned.
Florida Bright Futures Recipients: Florida Bright Futures Recipients will be required to repay any Florida Bright Futures funding received for withdrawn courses.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal regulations require students to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in order to be eligible to receive financial assistance under Title IV Programs.
There are three criteria a student must satisfy in order to be viewed as making Satisfactory Academic Progress. Within each criteria, the requirements needed to satisfy criteria may vary based on the student’s academic level (either Undergraduate, Second Bachelor, or Graduate). The criteria are as follows:
- GPA – defined as the minimum GPA a student must earn at the FAU and overall cumulative level.
- PACE - defined as the percentage of a student’s total attempted hours the student must earn at the FAU and overall cumulative level.
- ATTEMPTED CREDIT THRESHOLD (also known as TIMEFRAME) – defined as the maximum number of credits a student may attempt in pursuit of completing their degree program. Students will be determined to be ineligible for aid due to violation of the maximum timeframe criteria if they (1) have an attempted credit total in their current level which exceeds their maximum timeframe or (2) are determined to be unable to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards within their maximum timeframe.
I. SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS STATUS:
Students may review their Satisfactory Academic Progress status through MYFAU by completing the following steps:
- Sign into MYFAU with your FAU credentials
- Click/tap the "FAU Self-Service" tile
- Click/tap the "Financial Aid" tile
- Click/tap the "Financial Aid Status" tile
- If prompted, select the appropriate award year.
As SAP status is re-calculated prior to disbursement each semester, students should review their SAP status on MYFAU at the beginning of each semester (after the grade posting deadline for the prior semester) to confirm they remain eligible for aid.
Students who are not meeting SAP criteria will be sent an email informing them of their SAP status and how the status impacts their eligibility for aid. With this in mind, students are advised to monitor their FAU email for communications from the Office of Student Financial Aid regarding changes in their eligibility.
II. FREQUENCY AND BASIS OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS REVIEW:
Academic Progress for financial aid recipients will be reviewed EACH SEMESTER (prior to the disbursement of aid).
New Freshman Students with no previously attempted post-secondary coursework will be considered to be meeting SAP during their first FAU term.
New Graduate Students with no transfer coursework being applied to their graduate level will be considered to be meeting SAP during their first FAU term.
Continuing/Returning/Transfer Students will have their Satisfactory Academic Progress based on the most recent term listed on their transcript for their current academic level. The review will be based on all institutional cumulative and overall cumulative (including transfer) coursework attempted by the student at their current level, regardless of whether or not the student received aid for the coursework attempted.
III. SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS CRITERIA STANDARDS:
Grade Point Average (GPA):
- All undergraduate students (including second bachelor’s students) must maintain a 2.00 GPA (FAU and overall cumulative) for all coursework attempted. Students must also have an FAU academic standing at of the end of their most recent semester of FAU enrollment which does not indicate suspension or dismissal.
- Graduate students must maintain a 3.00 GPA in their graduate career (FAU and overall cumulative) and meet the academic standards required by their department for continued enrollment.
Consequence of Failure to Meet GPA Criteria Standard
Students who fail to meet the GPA standard of progress will have their future financial aid eligibility terminated. If eligibility is terminated, the student may apply for reinstatement on a probationary basis through the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process (see below).
All students (undergraduate and graduate) must earn a minimum of 67% of the total credits attempted in their current level. Pace is determined by dividing the total number of credit hours earned by the total number of credit hours attempted at the FAU level and the overall cumulative level. All non-remedial institutional and transfer credits attempted by the student at their current level are included in determining pace.
Consequence of Failure to Meet Pace Criteria Standard
Students who (1) do not meet the Pace criteria, (2) are meeting both GPA and Timeframe criteria, (3) are mathematically determined to be able to meet the Pace criteria within their maximum timeframe, and (4) were determined to be meeting ALL Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria in their prior review, will be assigned a Satisfactory Academic Progress Status of "Financial Aid Warning" for a duration of one semester. When on "Financial Aid Warning", the student will be eligible to receive aid for one semester.
Students who do not meet the Pace criteria and do not qualify for "Financial Aid Warning" status (based on the criteria above) will have their financial aid eligibility terminated. If eligibility is terminated, the student may apply for reinstatement on a probationary basis through the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process (see below).
Federal regulations stipulate that a student’s maximum timeframe cannot exceed 150% of the published length of the academic program. In compliance with this regulation, the following maximum time frame thresholds have been established based on the student’s current academic level:
- Student’s Pursuing Their First Baccalaureate Degree: As the majority of undergraduate academic programs require 120 earned credits to complete, the maximum timeframe provided to a student pursuing their first bachelor’s degree is 180 attempted credits. Exceptions made for programs requiring more than 120 credits to complete and cases where the Revised Maximum Timeframe has been extended as a result of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process.
- Students Pursuing Second (or beyond) Baccalaureate Degree: As the average of post baccalaureate undergraduate programs require the student to earn 30 additional credits to complete, the maximum timeframe provided to a student pursuing an additional post baccalaureate undergraduate degree is 45 attempted credits. Exceptions will be made for specific programs based on published second bachelor program length and cases where the Revised Maximum Timeframe has been extended as a result of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process.
Graduate (Masters or Doctoral) Students: Per federal regulations, graduate students may only receive financial aid for a pre-determined timeframe, established by the school, which is based on the published length of the program.
Graduate students in Masters level programs which require less than 50 credit hours for completion may not receive financial aid after they have attempted 70 institutional credit hours.
Graduate students in Masters level programs which require greater than 50 credit hours for completion, and Graduate students in PhD programs, may not receive financial aid after they have attempted 120 institutional credit hours beyond the Bachelors degree.
Students who exceed this timeframe may not submit an appeal based on changes in major. Students may only submit an appeal if they have already earned one or more graduate degrees at FAU, as this creates the appearance of excessive credit attempts.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING TIMEFRAME: Excessive transfer credits, changes in major, double majors, or minors may cause students to reach their maximum attempted credit timeframe, and lose their eligibility, prior to earning their degree.A student’s timeframe will not be extended to accommodate changes in major unless the student was previously in a major that is no longer offered at FAU and is therefore required to change. Students who are determined to be unable to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards of GPA and/or Pace within their maximum timeframe will also be viewed as in violation of the maximum timeframe criteria, even though they have yet to exceed their attempted credit maximum.
Timeframe Alert Status
Students who are approaching the timeframe maximum for their respective level, and are meeting all other Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, will be assigned a Satisfactory Academic Progress status of Timeframe Alert. This status is for notification purposes; students assigned this status remain eligible to receive financial aid funds. This status is assigned to students pursuing their first baccalaureate degree who have an attempted credit total between 162 and 179 credits at their current level and students pursuing their second (or beyond) baccalaureate degree who have an attempted credit total between 36 and 44 credits at their current level.
Consequence of Failure to Meet Timeframe Criteria Standard
Students will be determined to be ineligible for aid due to violation of the maximum timeframe criteria if they (1) have an attempted credit total in their current level which exceeds their maximum timeframe or (2) are determined to be unable to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards within their maximum timeframe. Students in violation of the maximum timeframe criteria may petition to have their maximum timeframe extended through the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal process (see below).
IV. DATA EVALUATED IN SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS REVIEW:
Review for GPA, Pace, and Timeframe criteria will be based on all credits attempted by the student at their current level (undergraduate or graduate). Students must meet all criteria on the FAU cumulative level and also on the overall cumulative level (which includes transfer coursework).
Additional information on how specific types of coursework are evaluated in the Satisfactory Academic Progress review is listed below:
Remedial Coursework: Remedial coursework taken as part of an ILP program assigned by FAU is excluded from the Satisfactory Academic Progress review process.
Repeat Courses: Repeated Courses are included in the student’s attempted credit total in evaluating Pace and Timeframe. NOTE: Though both attempts of a repeated FAU course will be counted in the attempted hours total, only the SECOND attempt will be counted in the earned hours total. Considering this, students should be aware of the adverse effect repeated FAU courses have on their calculation of Pace (they reduce the student’s completion percent) and Timeframe (though only one attempt may count as earned towards degree, both attempts count against the maximum number of credits the student may attempt in pursuit of completing their degree program).
Incomplete, Withdrawn, and Drop-Retained Courses: Courses with grades of Incomplete or Withdrawal, as well as Drop-Retained credits (FAU credits which were dropped after the drop/add deadline but prior to the expiration of the University grace period to drop without a “W”) are included in the student’s attempted credit total in evaluating Pace and Timeframe. Considering this, students should be aware of the adverse effect that dropped/incomplete courses have on Pace (they reduce the student’s completion percent) and Timeframe (they count against the maximum number of credits a student may attempt in pursuit of completing their degree program).
V. SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS APPEAL PROCESS:
A student whose aid eligibility has been terminated may apply for reinstatement on a probationary basis by submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal form to the Office of Student Financial Aid. The appeal must contain a statement explaining why the student failed to make satisfactory academic progress and what has changed in the situation that will allow the student to make satisfactory progress in the future.
There are 2 different Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal forms, each one based on the criteria the student is appealing. Students should review the forms below to make sure they submit the appropriate form(s):
- Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal for Pace and GPA – for appeals to cases where the Pace and/or GPA criteria were determined unsatisfied in the Satisfactory Academic Progress review. Common extenuating circumstances reviewed for this type of appeal would include:
- Death or illness of a relative
- Personal injury or illness
- Poor performance during the first semester at FAU
- Other extraordinary circumstances
NOTE: Students may be asked to submit documentation to support an appeal. In some cases, documentation is required and must verify BOTH (1) the dates that the extenuating circumstance occurred/existed and (2) that the extenuating circumstance has been resolved to such an extent that it will no longer impact academic performance. Graduate students who are failing to demonstrate a cumulative 3.00 GPA in their graduate program after completion of a semester for which they have received aid on a probationary status must submit a copy of their approved Academic Progression Plan (APP) as part of their appeal to be considered for continued probationary eligibility. The Academic Progression Plan must specify the future grades the student must achieve to attain a minimum program GPA of 3.00 and must contain all applicable departmental signatures. As the process to obtain an approved Academic Progression Plan can take several weeks, graduate students receiving aid on a probationary status are advised to initiate the process of obtaining an approved Academic Progression Plan immediately after being notified of their probationary financial aid status.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal for Time Frame – for appeals where a student (1) has an attempted credit total in their current level which exceeds their maximum timeframe or (2) is determined to be unable to meet the GPA and/or Pace standards within their maximum timeframe. Students must submit this appeal form to their academic advisor in their college. The academic advisor will complete the form detailing the student’s program length at time of FAU entry to their current level and the remaining coursework needed to complete the program.
Appeal results will be determined and communicated to the student by mail (or email) within approximately 20 days after the appeal has been received with all appropriate documentation. Should eligibility be reinstated, aid will be awarded based on the availability of funds at the time of reinstatement. Students submitting a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal will be responsible for all financial obligations made to the University, regardless of whether this appeal is approved or denied.
Students receiving aid on a probationary basis through the appeal process are required to maintain compliance with an academic plan assigned at the time the probationary status is granted. Failure to comply with the assigned academic plan will result in termination of future aid eligibility. Students who have their aid eligibility terminated after a probationary period may re-appeal to again be assigned probationary eligibility status only if NEW extenuating circumstances which are unique from the previous appeal can be documented as existing and now resolved .
Students whose current appeal has been denied are encouraged to submit an appeal for a future term if there is significant improvement in performance since the previously denied appeal and they appear able to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards within their maximum timeframe.
Per FAU's Data Standard Committee Document:
"Disclosure of student information is governed by a federal law, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, called Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and also known as the Buckley Amendment, and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Education at 34 C.F.R. 99.1 and by Florida law, at Section 228.093, Florida Statutes and regulations promulgated by the Florida Board of Education at 6C-6.015, F.A.C. and Florida Atlantic University at 6C5-4.009, F.A.C."
The Privacy Act exists to protect your right to confidentiality and limits our release of information about your file or offer(s). Therefore, the Financial Aid Office must authenticate your identity before releasing information to you about your financial aid. You must submit a written request if you need information about your financial aid released to an outside agency or to another person.
Student Loan Code of Conduct
Florida Atlantic University complies with the Florida Board of Governors Regulation adopted in December 2007.
View Code of Conduct documents approved by the Florida Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors of the State University System recognizes that ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid process is critical to providing fair and affordable access to higher education in Florida. Therefore, the Board has formalized the following guiding principles that shall be effective immediately and must be adopted by each University’s Board of Trustees as soon as practicable. These guidelines are designed to avoid any potential for a conflict of interest between the University, its students or their parents in the student financial aid process. Accordingly, each University shall take all reasonable steps to adhere to the following principles in the University’s financial aid operations:
University employees should receive no personal benefit(1).
No officer, trustee or employee of the University shall accept anything of more than nominal value on his or her behalf or on behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution.1 For example, cash, stocks, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, etc. should never be accepted from a Lending Institution. Likewise, an individual should never receive payment or reimbursement from a Lending Institution for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars. However, an officer, trustee or employee of the University may: (a) conduct non-University business with any Lending Institution and, subject to state law, receive value in connection with such non-University business, so long as such value is not intended to influence the officer, trustee or employee in conducting University business; (b) conduct University business and, subject to state law, receive value on behalf of the University that is unrelated to the student loan activities of the Lending Institution; (c) attend conferences and meetings of tax-exempt organizations that are funded or sponsored by more than one entity and, subject to state law, receive materials, refreshments, and other things of like value provided at such professional conferences and meetings; and, (d) hold membership in, serve on the board of or participate in the activities of any tax-exempt organization and, subject to state law, receive travel reimbursements and other things of like value from the tax-exempt organization for such activities.
University employees should not serve on lender advisory boards for remuneration(2).
No officer, trustee or employee of the University who makes financial aid decisions for the University or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over the University’s financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of an student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution or any reimbursement of expenses for such service. Any officer, trustee or employee of the University who serves as a member or participant of a Lending Institution board shall recuse himself or herself from any board discussions regarding the University’s financial aid operations.
The University should not provide any advantage to a Lending Institution(3).
The University shall not accept anything of value from any Lending Institution in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided to the Lending Institution related to its student loan activities, including but not limited to revenue-sharing, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software. Likewise, the University shall not allow any Lending Institution to: (a) staff the University’s financial aid office at any time; or (b) communicate with the University’s students or their parents in such a manner as to create the impression that the Lending Institution is an employee or agent of the University in connection with the University’s student financial aid operations, including through the use of mascots, logos, etc. Finally, the University shall not enter into any agreement with a Lending Institution to provide alternative (i.e., non-federal or
“opportunity”) student loan programs if the provision of such alternative loan programs prejudices other students or parents.
The University should make appropriate use of any Preferred Lender Lists (4).
If the University decides to promulgate a list or lists of preferred or recommended lenders for student loans or similar ranking or designation (“Preferred Lender List”), the selection of Lending Institutions for inclusion on the Preferred Lender List shall be based on the best interests of the University’s students and their parents without regard to the financial interests of the University. In addition, any Preferred Lender List shall clearly explain:
- Students and their parents are free to select the Lending Institution of their choice and will suffer no penalty imposed by the University from using a Lending Institution that is not a "preferred lender";
- Students and their parents are not required to use any of the “preferred lenders”;
- Where to find information on other Lending Institutions for student loans;
- The University will promptly certify any loan from any Lending Institution selected by a borrower, in accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations;
- The process the University utilized to select "preferred lenders," including but not limited to the criteria used and the relative importance of such criteria;
- Where to find information on the competitive interest rates, terms, and conditions of federal loans;
- Where to find information on the interest rate, loan servicing or other benefits offered by "preferred lenders"; and,
- Where to find information on any agreements by "preferred lenders" to sell their loans to other Lending Institutions.
Each University shall review any Preferred Lender List on an annual basis to determine that the information appearing on the list is accurate and that any website links are still viable.
- Lending Institution is any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. or Florida Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans.
- The University may accept any assistance that is authorized by 34 C.F.R. 682.200(b)(5)(i) (definition of “Lender”).
- The University may offer loans to its international students, at fair market rates, when such students would otherwise be unable to secure a domestic loan.
- The University also shall not place a Lending Institution on a Preferred Lender List for a particular type of student loan in exchange for benefits provided to the University, its students or their parents in connection with a different type of student loan.
Policy on Fraud and Misrepresentation
Florida Atlantic University’s Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) is committed to maintaining the highest level of integrity in all interactions with students, parents, and the Department of Education. The OSFA carefully monitors all financial aid documents for potential errors or discrepancies – including willful misrepresentations, or fraud. Per Federal regulations, Florida Atlantic University is required to report to the Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) any individual who is suspected of fraud, or deliberate misrepresentation of information which may affect an applicant’s eligibility for Title IV aid (see statute 34 CFR 668.16(g)(1)). In addition to reporting our suspicions to the OIG, we may also verify offer eligibility for previous aid years; students may be required to repay some or all aid which has previously disbursed. Section 490(a) of the Higher Education Act outlines the potential penalties of financial aid fraud:
“Any person who knowingly and willfully embezzles, misapplies, steals, obtains by fraud, false statement, or forgery [...] or attempts to so embezzle, misapply, steal, obtain by fraud, false statement or forgery [...] shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, except if the amount so embezzled, misapplied, stolen, obtained by fraud, false statement, or forgery, or failed to be refunded does not exceed $200, then the fine shall not be more than $5,000 and imprisonment shall not exceed one year, or both.”
By accepting Florida Atlantic University’s Terms and Conditions of a financial aid offer or receiving Title IV Financial Aid, students acknowledge and accept the above relevant statutes.